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Finding the Courage to Recover From Addiction

Posted on June 6th, 2018

Anthony decided from a young age that he was going to stay away from substances. With a family history of alcoholism and drug addiction, he wanted to be the “good kid.” He steered clear of experimentation all the way through high school. However, in college he began hanging out with friends who enjoyed going to house parties and binge drinking. One day, Anthony decided to “try it and see what the hype was about.”

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Finding Health After Surgery-Related Opioid Addiction

Posted on May 30th, 2018

After struggling to get sober in 2007, Kevin never expected to have to fight for his sobriety again in 2017. But an emergency surgery and extensive medical treatment led to an opioid addiction and a second chance at recovery.

Philadelphia-born, Kevin first came to California in the 1990s, fresh out of college and hoping to conquer the music world. Within four years, his dream came true. “I got a record deal and went on to sell a few million records,” he says. “It was fun pop/hip-hop music. The video took off on MTV and all of a sudden I was getting to see the whole world and all these cool places I would never have gone to on my own. It was an unbelievable experience.”

Music stardom was fun, but fleeting. He switched gears to build a career in real estate but like so many in that field, Kevin started partying too much and drinking dangerously. He also developed an OxyContin habit. After seeking help from medical professionals, he was prescribed methadone. “I didn’t really have any idea what I was getting myself into,” he recalls. “All I knew was that I took it and I didn’t feel sick.” But when he tried to get off methadone, he couldn’t do it alone. He entered drug rehab.

“I originally got sober at the end of 2007,” he says. “That was my introduction to recovery. I totally embraced it. I just jumped into the middle of things. I took direction. I did all the things that people recommend. It was awesome. My life totally changed just like they said it would. That hole inside me started to fill up.”

He also met his wife in recovery, while she was working through an eating disorder and depression. Eventually, they built a sober life together. In fact, they had their wedding ceremony at The Women’s Club of the Pacific Palisades, known for multiple daily twelve-step meetings. Their officiant was a friend who at the time had 50 years of sobriety. Most of the more than 200 guests were from the recovery community.

Sinking Back Into Painkiller Addiction

Everything was going great until January 2017, when Kevin suddenly felt a horrible pain in his abdomen and was rushed to the hospital. Physicians found a tear in his colon. He was taken immediately into emergency surgery and spent two months in the hospital recuperating. Kevin was sent home for a while and managed to escape the grip of the abundance of prescribed pain pills. But when he had to return for a second major surgery, everything else fell apart. There was too much pain – and too much pain medicine.

Kevin was sinking into painkiller addiction but was too ashamed to ask for help. “I was not telling anyone what was going on with me because of the guilt and the shame of relapsing,” he says. “At that point, I’d been eight years sober and felt I’d failed.”

But his friends were not willing to accept that. “When I got out of the hospital it was sort of apparent to a lot of my friends that I just didn’t seem like myself,” he says. “They had a nice, loving intervention with me because they knew the type of person I was before.”

“It was classic,” he continues. “I walked into someone’s house and they were all in a circle. I knew immediately what was going on. The truth was I was slightly relieved because I didn’t know how to ask for help. When I first got sober in 2007, I did ask for help. But this second time around, it was harder to ask for help after I’d been involved and active for so many years.”

Finding Hope Again

Friends urged Kevin to reach out to Promises and there he found the supportive environment and people he needed to regain his sobriety.

“I was so happy to be there,” he recalls. “I just felt like I was in a safe place. There were people that I could relate to. We all knew that we’d gotten to such a dark place and needed to get out. There were people that were willing to open up and take that leap of faith and I watched the group start to get better. From my own personal experience, there’s nothing more powerful than someone sharing something very honest about themselves and their experience. That’s what gives us the strength to do it ourselves.”

Kevin says Promises helped him get his life back, and that the staff and camaraderie with others helped him keep it on track. He participated actively in the outpatient program and stayed connected to ongoing alumni meetings and social events, in addition to going to four or five twelve-step meetings a week.

“I started feeling like part of something again,” he says. “I started having hope again. For me, when I lose my hope, I lose my sanity. Even if I’m doing okay, I know I could be doing better if I am taking better care of myself. Checking into Promises gave me hope again.”

He also found joy again. “We started laughing again, too, and that’s another important thing,” he says. “Nothing beats the laughter that occurs when we’re getting better.”

Today, Kevin says he has gotten past the guilt and shame about relapse. He is no longer embarrassed. Instead, he put all he learned at Promises to work for him in crafting a medical plan that would allow him to avoid problems with painkillers in the future. When he discovered he needed a surgery to fix some of the problems created by his first two surgeries, he mapped out a protocol for staying sober and enlisted his sober friends, recovery community, physicians, and wife to help. “I came through the surgery like a breeze,” he says.

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From Mad at the World to Loving Life

Posted on May 30th, 2018

Sara is a shy soul who feels most comfortable blending into the crowd. A self-identified people-pleaser, she remembers from a young age wanting to say the right thing and make others think she had it all together. From elementary school all the way through high school, she pushed herself hard and got good grades and stayed busy with extracurricular activities. She didn’t touch alcohol or other drugs.

But that changed when this Bakersfield, CA native started college at Texas Tech. “Within the first week, I was off and running,” she recalls. “I joined a sorority and went to my first party and ended up throwing up with strangers in the bathroom. Most people wouldn’t want to do that again, but I was like ‘hell yeah.’”

Sara managed to hold down two jobs and a full course load, graduating with a 3.2 GPA. But under the surface, she was losing control. She abused Xanax and alcohol, and discovered Adderall to study and party longer and harder.

Trying to Cope After Trauma

Things got worse after college when Sara moved to New Orleans to start her teaching career. “Everyone around me was partying, so I couldn’t see that I had a drinking problem,” she says. “I now know their thought process was different from mine. They drank for fun; I was obsessed.”

Then things got even worse. Sara was sexually harassed by her mom’s family member, and instead of going to therapy and working through the trauma, her doctor prescribed benzodiazepines. “I was a victim from then out,” she says. “No one understood. The world was bad. I couldn’t trust anyone.” She “lied her way” through an ADHD diagnosis so she could get Adderall and benzos at her beckon call. She lived in an amazing city and had a job she enjoyed, but she was miserable.

Her lowest point came at her brother’s graduation where she felt uncomfortable being around her extended family members and lost all control. Sara coped by taking uppers and downers and drinking way too much. She told off her parents and said they’d never see her again, with the intent to drink and use to death. “For years, I woke up wanting to die,” she says. “I was mad that I had to get up and be part of the world every day.”

Psych Ward to Drug Rehab

Sara called her best friend, who committed to getting her help. Sara’s dad flew with her and admitted her to a hospital psych ward for six days. “My moment of clarity came a couple days in,” she says. “With no drugs in my body, I could look at myself and start figuring out what was going on.”

Based on a recommendation from her mother’s coworker, Sara went to Promises. “It’s a godsend that I was sent to Promises,” says Sara, who was happy to be welcomed by “nice people and palm trees.” “I was miserable at first but I knew I didn’t have it under control and wasn’t the superwoman I wanted everyone to think I was. So I figured I should listen to somebody else. I was going to do whatever it took.”

Sara spent four months in residential drug rehab at Promises. She was uncomfortable with people waking her up and holding her responsible, but “I did what I was told. I went to meetings. I got a sponsor.”

“At a lot of rehabs you’re just a number. They don’t really care about you getting sober,” Sara says. “But Promises is an anomaly in rehabs. The people in charge of my care wanted me to be sober and succeed in life, and I’m forever grateful for that.” Sara is still in touch with some of the people who were in treatment with her as well as her “amazing” therapists.

Lessons in Addiction Recovery

Giving back has been an important part of Sara’s recovery. At her first alumni meeting, Sara walked in feeling sick with her head held down, but she immediately “felt the warmth in the room.” She started doing service activities at Promises such as volunteering to help mothers in recovery at Miriam’s House each week.

On the advice of her treatment team, Sara spent three months in sober living after residential treatment. “I didn’t like it but it was absolutely necessary,” she acknowledges. “I was not ready to go back into the world.” Sara made the difficult decision to leave her job and not move back to New Orleans. Instead, she stayed in California and got a not-too-stressful “get well job” tutoring people, followed by a “for right now job” that pays the rent and provides a flexible schedule so she can still make her recovery a priority.

She stays involved with Promises through alumni events and says she rarely misses a meeting. Whatever she’s going through, she can call the alumni services director and talk through it. “I respect her more than anyone I’ve met in my life,” Sara says. She also shares her story with current clients and families, and participates in fun alumni events that make weekends and holidays more manageable.

Some of the advice Sara shares with other people struggling with addiction is: “It’s okay to ask for help. There are lots of people with addictions and mental health issues.” Also, she advises, “Find people who are doing the same thing you want to be doing, and then shut up and listen. Someone will tell your story. I was 20 days sober when I heard someone at a meeting tell my story. I cried the whole meeting and finally realized I had a problem.”

Post-treatment, Sara’s approach to relationships has shifted dramatically. “My family wants to be around me now,” she says. “They aren’t afraid of which person is going to show up at Thanksgiving or saying something that will set me off into a rage.” Her best friend asked her to be her baby’s godmother and she truly enjoys being around her co-workers. Whereas she used to be all about herself, the focus now is “What can I do for others – no strings attached.”

In treatment, Sara had to do things that were good for her even if she didn’t want to, but now she makes the choice to do them on her own. She started practicing yoga at Promises and still does it four or five times per week to get out of her head and reconnect with herself. She prays every day and makes lists of things she’s grateful for, even if it’s “just the bag of Doritos on my desk.” She goes to four or five 12-step meetings per week, even when she really wants to sit at home, because she knows she’ll feel better and less isolated. At least five times a week, she talks to her sponsor who politely “calls me out on my B.S. and makes me see things in a way I otherwise wouldn’t.”

Finding Freedom From Addiction

Sara’s the first to admit recovery isn’t easy. She has to remind herself that negative feelings are temporary and that things can change in an instant. “It’s big for me to admit it–I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t always feel like I have things under control. But at least now I can be honest about it. I’m okay being myself.”

Treatment changed Sara’s life in many ways, but most importantly, she says, “I got my freedom back.” Rather than being angry to wake up and face another day, she says “Thank you God for waking me up and letting me live today.”


By Meghan Vivo

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A High-Functioning Alcoholic Rediscovers Herself

Posted on May 1st, 2018

Like many young people, Nicole liked to go out and party with her friends. But there was something different about the way Nicole partied–she didn’t just drink to have fun. She drank to get wasted. Soon, she reached a point where she’d decline invitations from her friends to go out so she could stay home and drink alone. “I craved connection, but didn’t want to do anything but get drunk. I fell into a cycle of working during the day, then drinking and blacking out at night, then doing it all again the next day,” Nicole says. “I was doing well at work, but I felt like crap and was covering up so much. I had so many secrets.”

Because Nicole was able to function at work and pay rent, she spent years in denial that she had a drinking problem. She hid her alcohol abuse from her friends and family. It wasn’t until her health started to suffer–she felt sick and shaky and had no appetite, even though she’d always loved food–that she decided she needed help. “I couldn’t miss work because I had to pay rent. I didn’t know how to manage it,” Nicole recalls. “I didn’t want to ask for help because that meant admitting I had a problem.”

Becoming Willing to Ask for Help

Not knowing where else to turn, Nicole started by talking to her manager at work. “I had to be humble and vulnerable and swallow my pride,” she says. She asked for a leave of absence from work and contacted her employee assistance program to help her into drug rehab treatment. Based on a recommendation from her cousin, she spoke with a Promises recovery specialist who helped her with the logistics. “He was so awesome. He stayed in touch with me all day and guided me through every step,” she says. “He coordinated detox and everything. It was so easy, I wish I would’ve done it sooner.”

Nicole completed detox in a hospital, which she described as “painless”, even though she was really scared at first, and then completed residential treatment at Promises, followed by four months in intensive outpatient treatment. “I had no idea what to expect, but I got there and saw it was just houses,” she says. “It felt homey, not like a hospital at all.”

Although she was used to not having rules, “It was nice to have structure–to get up at a certain time and go to the gym,” she says. “The food was amazing and the techs were super supportive.” One of her favorite parts of drug rehab treatment was the group sessions. “They all made you think in some way and contributed something,” she says. “It’s hard to walk into a meeting full of strangers. You don’t know what to do and you feel like an outsider, but Promises taught us everything so we knew what to do after treatment.”

Coping With Alcohol Cravings

Nicole now has six months of sobriety under her belt. But because of the nature of addiction, she still has to deal with alcohol cravings and triggers. Since alcohol is everywhere, it’s hard to avoid. For instance, some of her friends get drinks when they go out to dinner. “I remind myself they can handle it, but I can’t. Instead, I just enjoy being out,” she says. She avoids obvious triggers, like walking down the liquor aisle at the grocery store, and uses the skills she learned to deal with the triggers she can’t avoid.

Like many people, Nicole has dreams about relapsing; but in her case, they’re scary, not the type that make her miss her drinking days. “I’m mad at myself and feel guilty,” she says. “They remind me how precious my sobriety is to me.”

A Process of Self-Rediscovery

What’s the best part about being in recovery? “Clarity,” Nicole answers. “I still have issues to work through, but I feel like I’m rediscovering myself. I used to be creative, but there was no time for that when life revolved around alcohol. Now I’m figuring out what I like to do with my time.” She cooks a lot and is getting back to hobbies she used to enjoy.

Today, Nicole has a sponsor and is working on Step 4 of the 12 Steps, though she admits she’s “still working on the God thing.” Her finances are under control and her relationship with her mom has improved because there are no more secrets. She is in touch with a close group of girlfriends she has had for years who celebrate her recovery milestones with her and tell her how proud they are.

She’s also learning how to have fun sober. “Over the holidays I had a hot cocoa party,” she recalls. “I wondered if it would be lame since there was no alcohol, but it was really fun. When you’re with friends who care about you, you don’t need alcohol to have a good time.”

Overall, “I’m trying to be the best me that I can be,” she says. “I started going to the gym at Promises and am trying to keep that up. I’m looking better, which is helping me feel better about myself.”

Outpatient treatment and ongoing therapy have given Nicole an opportunity to dive deeper into the underlying issues that led to her alcohol abuse. She goes to Promises alumni meetings every week and shares her story with current clients. “The alumni support is hugely important,” she says. “I don’t miss any meetings. They make you feel important – like you belong – and they’re fun. There are cool events and we support residents and give them some hope.”

For those who are struggling with addiction, Nicole’s message is “Help is out there. There are so many places between detox, sober living and drug rehab. I never even knew it was there.”

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A Hockey Player Discovers New Passions After Prescription Drug Addiction

Posted on April 12th, 2018

Max grew up in Chicago and played hockey from a young age. At age 14, he moved to Maine to play prep school hockey, landing a scholarship to play Division III hockey at Plymouth State in New Hampshire. At just 18 years old, Max was the youngest student on the team by three years.

With an intense focus on his sport, he didn’t have much interest in drugs or alcohol. But that changed his freshman year in college. During his first hockey game, Max tore his hips and shoulder. After three hip surgeries and a shoulder surgery, Max’s doctor told him he couldn’t play hockey anymore. His doctor prescribed him Vicodin and Max “went down fast.” He knew he shouldn’t go down that road. Opiate addiction ran in his family. But it was too late.

A Rapid Decline

“After losing my favorite thing in my whole life, I totally lost myself,” Max says. Vicodin turned to Xanax and smoking marijuana and using Molly to get higher. “After two or three months, I’d need something else to be able to feel high again.” He justified the drug abuse by telling himself, “I’m in pain. I deserve this after everything I’ve been through.”

“At first it was fun,” Max recalls. “But then it became maintenance–trying to avoid withdrawal. On a hard day or the best day, I justified picking up a drug.” He became filled with rage, and his family didn’t want to talk to him anymore. He had money and was doing well in school, but he describes it as the saddest time in his life. “I looked in the mirror and didn’t know who I was anymore,” he says. “I couldn’t believe this is what my life had become.”

At his lowest point, Max had run out of drugs and all of his dealers were out of town. He was having brutal withdrawals and felt desperate. Max called his mom and admitted he had a problem. To his surprise, she responded “Finally!” His family had suspected he had an addiction for years, but didn’t want to confront him before he was ready to get help. “I thought I could do it on my own, but I couldn’t,” Max says. “It was the first time I ever asked for help.”

Going ‘All In’ With Recovery

Max spent 30 days in residential treatment at Promises, followed by 60 days in sober living. He used many of the skills he had learned in hockey and applied them to drug rehab. “I’ve always been very coachable,” he says. “I watched others and surrounded myself with the best so I could become the best.”

When it came to addiction recovery, Max went “all in.” He listened to his treatment team, including a technician who he says “spit wisdom” at him. “They never gave up on me,” Max says. “I came in going crazy and they’d tell me I was normal and human and that it was okay to have bad days.”

He got a sponsor five days into the program, worked the 12 Steps, and built a community that included Promises alumni and staff, AA and his sponsor. He is still in touch with the “lifetime friends” he made in drug rehab. “Promises taught me the fundamentals of how to live life sober,” he says. He started meditating two days per week–a practice he strongly recommends, particularly for people with anxiety, ADHD or depression and those trying to kick a prescription pill addiction–and discovered acupuncture could help him manage the pain from his surgeries. “To this day, my parents say it’s the best money they ever spent on me,” he says.

Since he was young when he got sober, an important part of addiction recovery was learning to have fun without drugs or alcohol. “It’s hard when you’re young, but the answer is fellowship–building a community of people your age and doing things with them,” Max says. “Today I have fun. I laugh–I never used to laugh.”

A Fresh Start

After maintaining his sobriety for a year, Max moved to Denver, finished his college degree in business administration and got a job as a real estate broker. “Starting a new career in a new city has been a challenge. I’ve had to recreate everything I did in L.A.,” he says. “But getting comfortable in an uncomfortable setting has been a good test.”

At 23 years old, “I’m a functional member of society. I have a job I never thought I could get and I truly love what I do,” Max says. The oldest of five children, Max is proud that he “finally acts like an older brother” and has grown closer with his siblings. He is discovering new passions like skiing and is working on fitting old passions back into his life by coaching hockey.

Still, there are days when “just for today” ends up meaning “just for the next 30 minutes” or even “just for the next 30 seconds” but he has the skills to stop thoughts and feelings from leading to relapse. “I was playing hockey at the highest levels of training and competition, and recovery is 10 times harder than any game,” he notes. But he is grateful to have found his way in his 20s, with most of his life still ahead of him.

“There’s a saying in AA that ‘you’ll live your wildest dreams sober.’ It’s not a cliché,” Max says. “I can support myself, I show up and I have a life I love.”

By Meghan Vivo

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Repaired Health and Relationships After Rehab Journey

Posted on January 5th, 2018

‘White Knuckling’ No Way to Hold on to Sobriety

James W. had five months of sobriety, the “white-knuckle version,” he called it, when he decided to have a drink with his friends during a trip to the Ozarks. He had this covered, he thought. He could have just one.

So he lied to his friends, one of the innumerable lies he’s told to them, his family and himself over the years.

“The doctor said it’s OK if I have a drink every once in a while,” James told his buddies. In truth, his doctors had told him he could never touch alcohol again. “If I drank again, they said, ‘You’re a dead person. Might as well carry a shovel around with you’.”

A Trip to the Hospital

Five months earlier, James had been taken to a hospital after throwing up about eight pints of blood during a vacation in Florida. It was an annual sojourn he made with his friends, but this trip was cut short by James’s illness. He and his buddies made a bee-line to get him back home to St. Louis. “We would pull over at gas stations and I would go behind a dumpster and vomit,” James said. “I would try to hydrate myself because I was so dehydrated, but then just throw up.”

When James arrived in the ER, his eyes and skin were jaundiced with his belly fully distended. The doctors told him he’d probably need a liver transplant and that he needed to stay sober to qualify. He took that seriously…for a while.

“After that, I was sober for about five months, but without a program,” he said. “You’re white-knuckling it. You’re not picking up a drink. But without seeing a professional about underlying issues, I was just a dry drunk. I was grumpier than ever. I just lived to cross off the day on the calendar and be proud of that day.”

In the Ozarks, James’s days as a “dry drunk” came to an end. His pride in maintaining his sobriety was overcome by his desire for one more drink, which became two, then three. His drinking would continue beyond his trip to the mountains and for the next year.

All along, James was receiving regular signals that his doctor’s bleak warning about his alcoholism was not mere melodrama. On multiple occasions, he was experiencing frightful bleeds from bursting veins in his esophagus. It is an often life-threatening condition known as “esophageal varices”, common among people with advanced liver disease. “I probably had four to five trips to the hospital with the same situation,” he said. Yet he kept drinking, despite the bleeding and other complications from his failing liver.

While his body was on the verge of being “totaled” by alcohol, it was a fender-bender that landed James in drug rehab. The accident occurred when there were warrants out for his arrest. He had accumulated five DWIs over the years and was driving on a revoked license. Now in jail, he reached out to his mother for help—the only person left for him to turn to.

Turning Life Around at Drug Rehab

“Here I am, a 43-year-old adult talking to his mom like he’s a teenager. ‘Bail me out of jail, bail me out of jail,’” he said. But this time, his pleas fell on deaf ears. He shared that two other people stepped in to get involved: a woman named Patricia Meyers, the Executive Director of Alumni and Client Services at Promises Treatment Centers, and an interventionist.

“They told my mom not to bail me out of jail until I had a ticket to rehab,” James said. And she didn’t. The judge then told him that he needed to go to treatment for a month or face incarceration.

“Those were the circumstances that got me kicking and screaming the whole way to Promises, completely unwilling, oblivious to how close I was to death.”

Today, James is now almost 18 months sober. He spent a full 60 days at Promises and then seven months in sober living. He says he was able to gain and maintain his sobriety “by surrendering, by just giving in to the program and deciding that this is what you need to do.” In short, just “following the principles.”

“I also learned that there are people who have worse stories than mine and there are people with the same story as me. We can all lean on each other. You’re not alone.”

Looking Back

By the time James began his stay at Promises, his mother was at her wit’s end. (He had lost the support of his wife years earlier. She divorced him in 2009.) When he had moved in with her after the divorce, he took up drinking from airplane liquor bottles in an effort to convince himself that he wasn’t really drinking that much. “Alcoholics are experts at fooling themselves and others—or at least they think they are”, he said. James would sneak out of the house, go out to his car, and drink from the little bottles he’d stashed there.

“I’d drink like three of them and smoke a cigarette and come back in,” he said. “Then I’d go to the bathroom and use mouthwash and wash my hands. That was a pattern. I would rationalize it that they were just little airplane shots. They’re just little shots. It’s not a big bottle. It’s not a fifth of a bottle.”

“You get so far off from reality,” he said. “You justify anything. I have lied to my mother, cheated her, manipulated every angle. I was so sick.” She just couldn’t take anymore and sent him a letter that knocked him back on his heels.

“James, I cannot talk to you,” his mother wrote to him in jail. “I am done. I buried my brother because he had cancer. I buried my sister because she had cancer. I buried my mother and father due to old age, and I can’t bear to bury my son. I can’t talk to you now.”

A Return to Health

After his two months at Promises, James wasn’t big on the idea of sober living. He didn’t need it, or so he told the staff. But it was his mother, now back in his life, who was able to persuade him to see the situation otherwise.

“What is six months out of your life?” she asked he. “It’s a drop in the bucket. And it will give you an advantage.”

James remembers that he was “very angry”. But he did it and he’s never doubted that decision. In fact, he’s now working part-time at a sober living facility. His health has improved dramatically. His liver that used to function at 35% during his hospitalization is now functioning at about 93%. He works out three times a week and has lost 40 pounds.

‘I have a life again,” James says. “I’ve been focused on my program so much and multiple commitments and multiple meetings. And I can’t tell you how priceless the Promises Alumni Association is to me and going up to visit Promises Malibu. I probably speak there on a panel once a month and every Wednesday, I’m at the alumni meeting. I volunteer a ton of time. My life has purpose again.”

But perhaps the biggest plus in James’s new life is that he’s regained people’s trust. It wasn’t that long ago when his best friend had a “tough conversation” with him, telling James that he was no longer comfortable with him being the godparent of his children. “Then on my last visit home, he just had one look at me and listened to how I spoke and he told me I could be a godparent again to his children. The pieces of the puzzle have all yet to be put in place, but every day, things are just working out.”

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Cocaine and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Testimonial

Posted on December 13th, 2013

I wound up at Sundance’s cocaine and alcohol addiction center because my cocaine and vodka binge led to me making a major error on my company’s financial report – the third such error in less than two months. As a result my boss, who knew I had a problem with substance abuse addiction, ordered me into treatment – but not before presenting me with a pre-resignation letter that would be placed in my file and removed upon successful completion of treatment at The Sundance Center in Scottsdale, AZ.

When I entered Sundance’s cocaine and alcohol addiction recovery center, I immediately felt at home through the friendly team of counselors who greeted me. An assigned counselor at Sundance’s cocaine and alcohol addiction center took me through an extensive intake interview during which they asked me questions about my addiction life and the path I took to get in their Scottsdale-based cocaine and alcohol addiction center.

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Beginning the Path of Sobriety at Promises Scottsdale

Posted on December 11th, 2013

Elaine balked at the idea of checking into The Sundance’s drug and alcohol addiction center because she was uncertain about the level of her addiction and being away from her family for 28 days. Her mindset was filled with stereotypes about drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. She had been conditioned into believing that rehabs were negative, rundown places. But when she finally gave in and checked into The Sundance’s drug and alcohol addiction center, her perception changed.

She entered a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center that operated on a pristine landscape surrounded by the beauty of nature.  Elaine was enticed by the atmosphere at The Sundance’s drug and alcohol addiction center. “I didn’t know that a drug rehab could even look like The Sundance Center,” she said. “Everything about The Sundance Center suggested that I was in a spiritual environment that promotes healing. The counselors and treatment team at The Sundance’s drug and alcohol addiction center were there for me every step of the way. They made me feel at home right away.”

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How Promises Austin Changed the Way I Make Choices

Posted on June 15th, 2013

One Alum’s Story of Learning to Live a Healthy Life

Suzanne started using substances at the age of 12. That’s not the saddest chapter of her story.

By the time she had reached her 20’s, she was drinking alcohol and abusing cocaine and had been in and out of several drug treatment facilities. Again, it gets worse.

When Suzanne (an alias) left the first facility, she had a husband. A year later she also had a son. Of course, she also had a drug problem, and two years after the birth of her child she was in the hospital again … a mental hospital … in a straight jacket … in the formative stages of a breakdown that had her alternately wishing for another hit or death. Either choice was fine with her.

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Singing Bowl Helps Phoenix Addict in Addiction Recovery Process

Posted on June 3rd, 2013

crystal signing bowl - Sundance Addiction RecoveryInside a large circle at The Sundance Center, a 24-inch Australian crystal-singing bowl sits atop a cream-colored 6-inch rubber O-ring. Sitting next to the bowl with a 6-inch suede mallet in his hand is a substance abuse instructor who is about to begin a healing session with one of his clients – a newly enrolled crystal meth addict still coming down from using the drug less than 24 hours ago. The paranoid meth addict knows he wants to get clean, but he has trouble staying focused with a racing mind and hyperactivity. As the lights are dimmed and the guests closes his eyes with his arms out-stretched, the instructor brings the crystal bowl alive by gently stroking it with the mallet.

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Holistic Success: A Guest’s Story

Posted on March 13th, 2013

How Promises Austin Helped Turn an Addiction into a Vibrant Recovery

Many of Promises Austin’s guests are referred to the holistic alcohol and drug treatment center by professionals in the medical, therapeutic, addiction/recovery, and legal fields. These professionals take great care in selecting treatment facilities for their patients/clients. After all, lives – not just reputations – are on the line. In order to best serve the needs of these referents, Promises Austin taps the expertise of qualified therapists, interventionists, and other healthcare professionals to create a smooth, unique path to treatment.

The Promises Austin “experience” is just that. It lasts 35 to 60 days, and the center’s staff adapts a specialized treatment episode for each guest. The treatment plan begins with an assessment of the guest’s individual situation, including helping him/her determine what led to the choices he/she made previously.

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